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Korea to raise vaccine self-sufficiency to 57% by 2020
  • By Lee Hye-seon
  • Published 2019.02.19 14:47
  • Updated 2019.02.19 14:47
  • comments 0

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it would build a state-run technological support center to help companies develop and commercialize local vaccines this year, as part of efforts to raise self-reliance of vaccines.

Lee Yoo-kyoung, senior scientific officer at the Biopharmaceutical Policy Division at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, presents the ministry’s plan to raise self-reliance of vaccines during a government briefing on policies, approval, and licensing on biopharmaceutical products, in Seoul Tuesday.

Lee Yoo-kyoung, senior scientific officer at the biopharmaceutical policy division at the ministry, announced the government’s plan to attain the goal at a government briefing on policies, approval, and licensing on biopharmaceutical products on Tuesday in Seoul.

According to Lee, the government is supporting companies to manufacture 28 vaccines locally. As of 2017, the nation secured 14 vaccines and the self-supply of vaccines reached 50 percent. The government aims to lift the rate to 57 percent (16 vaccines) by 2020, and 75 percent (21) by 2023.

The state-run technology support center will have a “Central Lab” to evaluate vaccines clinically and a contract research lab, Lee said. The government will build the center in Hwasun in South Jeolla Province, she said.

The vaccine clinical evaluation lab can assess immunogenicity is essential for vaccine development under international standards such as those set by the World Health Organization.

The need for localizing vaccines is rising amid increasing fears over infectious diseases, but the growth pace of self-supply of vaccines has slowed recently, Lee noted. To tackle the issue, the government was preparing various measures, she added.

The ministry will build an ICT system to offer better information and construct a technology support center to make it easier for companies to develop vaccines, Lee said.

“The food and drug safety ministry’s policy used to support swift approval and licensing rather than vaccine development,” she said. “From now on, however, the ministry will expand help through technical support for localizing and commercializing vaccines.”


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